A Beginner’s Guide to Adaptogens

Guide to Adaptogens

Everything you need to know about adaptogens in one place. The most common adaptogens: what they do, how to use them, and where to get them. Your basic questions answered!

If you haven’t heard of adaptogens before, you probably will soon. They have been around for hundreds of years, yet have just recently been becoming mainstream in the health and wellness world. I began using adaptogens about two years ago and they have honestly changed my life- especially when it comes to stress!

What are adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a type of herbal medicine that comes from plants and helps regulate hormone balance and aid in functional medicine and overall well-being. Because they come from herbs, mushrooms, and plants, they generally are used in powder form that range in color, tastes, and smell. Their use goes back to ancient Chinese and Aryuvedic medicine practices and are said to have benefits ranging from increased beauty to energy to general vitality.

How do you use/store adaptogens?

Adaptogens can be used on a daily basis and are commonly incorporated into drinks such as coffees, smoothies, etc. They can also be mixed into other foods (I love to mix them into dairy-free, naturally sweetened “nice” ice cream, for example). Because they have different smells and tastes, they can be paired with certain foods depending on their characteristics. Aside from coming in powder form, they can also be found in capsule form. They can be stored in a cool, dry place such as a pantry.

Raw Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Adaptogenic Chocolate Covered Strawberries. See them on Instagram: @natalieengx

Is it safe to use adaptogens/do I need to?

Adaptogens have been used for centuries and have been shown to have great benefits. I would always recommend asking a naturopath if you have concerns, but they are plant-based and really should do no harm. Personally, they really have helped my overall stress and anxiety levels.

Which Adaptogens should I buy?

If you have never had or used adaptogens, it may seem overwhelming with all of the options if you are curious to buy some! They offer a range of benefits, and many have similar benefits, but knowing a little what benefits you want, this might help. Plus, you can always start with one, see how you like it, and just play around! You don’t have to buy one or all!

Common Adaptogens and Their Benefits:

  • Rhodiola: reduces stress/adrenal fatigue
  • Ashwaganda: reduces stress/anxiety, lowers cortisol; pairs well with coffee and can have a  bitter taste
  • Tocos: nourishes skin, removes toxins, boosts antioxidants, great creamy texture for lattes/smoothies
  • Licorice root: reduces inflammation, boosts immunity, helps an upset stomach, found in many herbal teas
  • Chaga: Lowers cholesterol/inflammation, said to fight cancer, pairs well with in coffee/chocolate
  • Reishi: balances blood sugar and mood, boosts immunity, pairs well with coffee
  • Holy Basil aka Tulsi: increases awareness, energy, boosts skin antioxidants
  • Lions Mane: boosts energy, reduces brain fog, reduces anxiety
  • Mucuna: Reduces stress, balances mood
  • Lucuma: packed with vitamins, sweeter taste can be used as a sweetener
  • Maca: boosts energy, sex drive, caramel-y taste, pairs well with smoothies, sweet things
  • He shou wu: boosts sex drive, nourishes body
  • Ginseng: boosts energy, lowers blood sugar (my diabetic grandpa puts a teaspoon in his coffee every morning!)
  • Shisandra: reduces inflammation, increases endurance, comes from a berry


Where do I buy adaptogens?

Adaptogens are becoming so common, I have even seen them offered as additions at coffee shops, but you can find them in any health store or order them from popular companies such as Moon Juice (click my link below for $20 off your first order of $50), Sun Potion, and Four Stigmatic. I also linked all of the above adaptogens to where you can buy them on Amazon with brands I like and good deals to make it easy!

Get $20 off your first Moon Juice order of $50 or more here.


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  1. February 11, 2020 / 3:49 pm

    Love adaptogens. So powerful! Great post on these.

    • February 14, 2020 / 10:51 pm

      Thanks Sara! Yes they are soo powerful ๐Ÿ™‚

      Xx, Natalie

  2. February 10, 2020 / 7:17 pm

    I’ve been curious about adaptogens for a long time and you laid it out in an easy to understand way. And I seriously love your blog! I love finding another health and wellness advocate ๐Ÿ™‚

    • February 14, 2020 / 10:49 pm

      Oh my gosh Breanne THANK YOU!! So sweet and I’m so glad ๐Ÿ™‚ Xx, Natalie

  3. Erin Stockmeyer
    May 4, 2019 / 2:39 pm

    Iโ€™ve been wanting to try Ashwaganda and Rhodiola! Love this side by side comparison. Thereโ€™s so much information out there, this makes it easy!

    • May 5, 2019 / 11:02 pm

      Thanks sweet Erin, I’m glad it helped!! Means so much to me that you took the time to read!!

    • April 29, 2019 / 7:31 pm

      Ooh I’ll have to try Moodbeli out!!!

  4. April 29, 2019 / 1:15 am

    An interesting read. I have heard a lot about essential oils and their benefits, but not so much about adaptogens. I use a natural herbal supplement for digestion and have been thrilled with the results. I will have to check these out.

    • April 29, 2019 / 1:53 am

      Ooh I am the opposite! I want to learn more about essential oils! We will have to swap tips haha!

  5. April 28, 2019 / 11:18 pm

    Very interesting read, I have not heard of Adaptogens before , but I feel like I learned a lot from your post, thank you.

    • April 29, 2019 / 1:53 am

      I’m so glad!! I bet you’ll start hearing of them everywhere now;)

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